Sunday, May 21, 2017

WW2 | New Review of "The Winged Watchman"

German Panzer Tanks Advance
into the Netherlands, May 1940
I have just read a review in Crisis Magazine by  of Hilda van Stockum's popular book The Winged Watchman. It appeared May 15, 2017. 

I am grateful to Dr. Christine Schintgen for pointing it out to me.

It is a thoughtful review and I hope it will be widely circulated. Crisis Magazine is itself of great interest.

McKeegan has put her finger on why The Winged Watchman is on so many home-schooling reading lists and rates so highly (consistently in the top ten of more than 100 books) on the Goodreads list of World War II books for children.

During the "Hunger Winter" of 1944-45, Allied
planes dropped food. But not before 20,000
Dutch people starved to death as Dutch food
was diverted to Nazi Germany.
The key feature of the book is that van Stockum is describing the reaction of a faithful Catholic family to the takeover of their country by an evil man. The family is participating in the Resistance to the Nazis, who invaded Holland. 

What McKeegan observes so well is that van Stockum hones in on the situations where the right thing to do is not obvious. 

  • Where one of the boys in the family is trying to protect his parents from involvement in his assistance to a downed airman.
  • Where the mother has trouble forgiving the occupying Germans for cruel actions taken against the Dutch people. 
I have read dozens of review of The Winged Watchman and this one really gets to the heart of its strong impact on, and success with, home-schooling parents and children.

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